(516) 735-1018
2555 Hempstead Turnpike
Suite 1
East Meadow, N Y 11554
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Tip Of the Month

Tip Of the Month

Hot or Cold?

 When to Heat Up or Cool Down Your Injury 

As many of us know, when we have an acute injury or are experiencing pain, using heat or cold to treat the problematic area comes highly recommended. When used correctly, heat and cold therapies as a treatment for pain or injury can relieve discomfort, relax the body and speed up the healing process.

Heat Therapy…Heat treatments are typically used for muscle relaxation. Applying heat increases the temperature of the problematic area, causing blood vessels to dilate and improve circulation. Better circulation will bring more oxygen and nutrients to the area.  Heat is typically not appropriate for an active inflammation, as it can congest an area and therefore cause more pain.   

Cold Therapy…Cold treatments are most commonly used for newer injuries that have inflammation and swelling associated with them. Reducing the temperature of the injured area causes the blood vessels to constrict; therefore, blood circulation will decrease in the area being treated. This is extremely helpful immediately following and during management of an injury because decreased blood flow helps to reduce and prevent further swelling and inflammation. Applying cold also aids in pain relief, just as the heat therapy does. 

Ask Your Therapist When to Warm Things Up and When to Cool Things Down?  A good guideline to remember when questioning which to use is that heat relaxes and increases blood flow to an area and cold minimizes pain and inflammation, decreasing blood flow to the area.

Using Heat and Cold Safely…It is important to use heat and cold safely to avoid further injuries.  Do not put ice directly on skin to prevent ice burn—instead put the ice in a towel or cloth. Typically, ice is used for only 10 minutes at a time, allowing 30 minutes for skin to return to a normal temperature in between. Typically, heat is used no longer than 15 minutes at a time.

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(516) 735-1018    www.LifePTW.com   

2555 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow NY

2555 Hempstead Turnpike, Suite 1, East Meadow, New York 11554